Monday, April 18, 2011

Discipling a Heart

Little ones remind me that being a missional mom is tough. Discipling makes me tired, worn out, and frustrated - often. I hesitate to write this, but my heart is full.

Parenting involves both redirecting a behavior and discipling a heart. Both require me to be engaged, working with my children to shape them into individuals that love God and love people. Childish behavior is often easily fixed with an immediate consequence. A hardened heart, however, takes years of discipling. God in His mercy chooses to love us no matter what. He alone can change a heart once gripped by sin and soften it to accept his gift of salvation. My job is to facilitate that change in my home and pray that my child will listen.

Today was one of those days that made me question why I do what I do. Is this job of fostering too much for me? Because He loves me, my Savior gently pricked my heart to remind me that my job will never be easy. I may never see the day that my foster children give their hearts to Jesus. Until the day that they leave my home, I have the privilege to infuse their lives with the love of Jesus that will be with them forever.

My toddler pushes every button, tries to extend every boundary, and wants everything that isn't his. His heart is obvious even at such a young age. Maybe you know exactly what I am talking about. You may live with one of these little ones yourself. With my limited knowledge of my toddler's background, I can deduce that he has seen and heard things that no little one should ever see or hear. I truly believe that due to others' actions, Satan has been given a foothold in this little guy's heart. That is not to say that my God is not sovereign or stronger than anything that will come into his life. As we deal with today, though, my toddler's actions led by an unregenerate heart make me realize that my prayers for this little one need to be more intense.

Please don't misunderstand. Many things my toddler does are simply toddler things to do. He is learning. He is becoming more independent. His language and communication skills are increasing. All of this leads to opportunities of conflict with anyone who steps in his way. I also love my little guy no matter what and tell him that ever day many times. He has come a world away from his first week in our home.

Today after many episodes of conflict, I knew that he and I needed to be alone for a bit. So, while my Angel was at softball, we headed to a coffee shop that caters to moms and kids. We chose a table close to the books and toys and settled in for a few minutes – just us. We read a few books, shared some cheese crackers, and tried out some new toys.

In the car, I sang song after song, imparting God's love and truth in the simplest terms. He smiled and cheered me on. At one point, I said, "Guess what? I love you." He caught it. After that, I would say, "Guess what?" His response in his little toddler voice was "I love you". Now I was smiling.

We have a long way to go. I am trusting God's faithfulness to do His part. In the meantime, God give me grace, energy, and patience to keep on with the job I know is laid out for me.


Dallas said...

Hey Sandy, I love your blog :0) I wasn't sure you saw a link I posted and thought it might bless your kids. This lady sings bible (and silly) songs in a preschool setting. It's great! I do it w/ my girls at breakfast every morning. I promise I'm not selling it, just really pleased with it. :0)

Sandy said...

Thanks, Katie. I did take a peak at your blog and really enjoyed it. I do think my little ones would enjoy that site.

Christina said...

Oh, this was just right for me to be reminded of today! Thanks.

ian said...

Hi Sandy - stopped by your blog - great post and oh that all mothers had your vision for the role. Keep on keeping on. Say hi to laura.